Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Canning Jam

I think it was watching the "Buying Alaska" marathon yesterday....it spurred something in me along with my success in making marmalade...I woke up planning to can jam.
Well, actually, I pulled out frozen figs from the freezer to thaw, knowing I was going to make jam.
After all,  the equipment was already out. Why not?
So, after a quick breakfast and a couple of cups of coffee, still in PJs, I began.....

Yup, that messy kitchen is mine...I am known for being a whirling person in the kitchen...
The first batch was ready and the jars were not, so off I went to the freezer to get more figs. But of course they were totally frozen, not thawed. So, I tried to break them up, and ended up using the blender...which of course makes a different product...so we will see.
With jars almost done in their boiling sterilizing bath, the second batch of jam should be ready soon. Hopefully, this time my timing will be a bit better. I hate having a few jars in the big kettle. I really need the small batch canner....(I told Santa so)....
So, in the meantime, I am getting you up to date on my plans....
Four minutes remaining.....
Have I told you how much I love the small batch jam/jelly maker?? It cooks to perfection, every time.
So far, what I have tasted of the fig jam, it is pretty yummy. So, imagine this. I was given beautiful figs, about 3 years ago. I put them in the food saver bag, so they were completely sealed. These are the figs I am making jam from. It was definitely time.
Batch one, from the thawed overnight bunch.
Batch two, from frozen to jam.
The first batch was beautiful...just as I thought.
The second batch I had my doubts. It looked pretty mushed. But, when the jammer was done, it was the same beautiful hue, just a bit thinner, no doubt due to water content.
In twelve minutes the canner will be done....
And it is only 10 AM.
Now, here they are!

After almost 32 or so years of canning, I am still amazed by the whole process and final product.
It requires timing, which I often don't do quite right....ie, the canner isn't ready or the canner is ready and the jam or fruit is not. So, bringing them together successfully, is amazing.
It requires planning...I do, but even the best laid plans......
And it requires patience...which every time, I am made to develop.
I really like the idea of canning on a rainy day, versus the hot summer day. Freezing delays the canning until you are ready. I do however recommend the thawing of the fruit. If it is sealed, air can't get in and it gets "happy" in its juices.
Of course, one cannot freeze whole veggies that need to be fresh for pickling for example, but for jam it works.
I respect the canner, sometimes it can be a bit scary and a whole giant kettle of hot boiling water should be respected and carefully watched especially around little people.
I have yet to ever be brave to do pressure canning.
Any of my readers do that?? Do you have a brand of canner you like?
Well, now to clean up that mess I made and do some sewing....

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